Tree maintenance and access FAQs

What tree works are taking place at Newbold Comyn?

From Monday 16 October 2023, we are carrying out tree maintenance for the long term health of the woodland as a whole. This does involve the removal and pruning of trees which are dead, dying and dangerous, and those effecting the health of other trees.

Some woodland areas of Newbold Comyn have not been maintained since they were planted in the 1980s. As a result, these areas of woodland now require maintenance to ensure the long term health of the woodland.

The council is dedicated to the maintenance and development of our woodlands. Inspections and work takes place in our woodland areas to ensure that we continue to preserve and enhance the much-loved woodlands across the district.  

Tree maintenance work is undertaken normally between September to March when the trees are out of leaf, and the bird nesting season is avoided. This timeframe allows the contractors to take advantage of the ground conditions, rather than disrupting the ground, leaving it muddy and uneven for regular park users where possible. 

There will be tree maintenance work later in the year in the Newbold Comyn nature reserve as per the recent press release and in other woodland on the Comyn in due course.

Why is tree work taking place along the trails?

Tree works take place across the district at different times. Newbold Comyn has planned maintenance work in various locations. We have prioritised the trees immediately around the trails that were identified in the arboriculturists report in order to ensure there is no further disruption to the trails when they are opened. 

Works will take place in the nature reserve in the coming months and in other locations around the Comyn.  

What markings have been used on the trees?

Contractors undertaking the tree inspection for the council have used different coloured paints to mark the trees which require some maintenance work. The contractors use a variety of symbols to indicate what works are needed.

Unfortunately, it appears that some of the trees have also been sprayed with another colour paint, however the contractors will only be working on trees that have been marked with their identifiable colour. 

How did the Council tell people that tree works were happening?

Signs were installed on Monday 16 October at 7.30am and a message was added to the Newbold Comyn web page. The council does not usually send out wider messaging/proactive press releases in tree maintenance situations. However, following questions received, social media messaging was sent out on the council's channels on Thursday 19 October. 

We are aware that despite not being open, the trails are being used by individuals, so we also communicated directly with the editor of the Facebook page for the Newbold Cycle Trails to ensure that those who have been using the trails were made aware.

The Council is engaging with stakeholders including British Cycling, Sports England, inspection contractors and others as part of the operational delivery and commitments made by the council as part of received funding arrangements.  

Will Newbold Comyn still be accessible to everyone?

Newbold Comyn has been and always will be a shared use park for all to enjoy. This means that the cycling trails have been planned as free to use and allowing for accessibility for all. Neither cycling nor any other activity on site, including walking will be restricted at Newbold Comyn (with the exception of some specific areas where habitats and wildlife may need additional protection and for safety during one-off events). 

No single activity is given priority in the park. This has meant that safety features have been designed into the facility from the outset. 

To emphasise appropriate behaviour on site, the Council will be publishing further advice around all the activities and as the owner of Newbold Comyn would expect that visitors follow a simple code of conduct to: 

  • Be considerate: everyone has an equal part to play in ensuring safety in the park. Everyone comes to enjoy their time at Newbold Comyn whether it is to relax, explore or exercise. 
  • Be safe: follow signage. It may change, particularly when referring to seasonal considerations for wildlife or maintenance taking place. Children and dogs may need to be kept close to you in some areas. 
  • Be seen and heard: not everyone has perfect sight or hearing or even vision behind them! 
  • Be polite: all our visitors, no matter the activity they undertake at Newbold Comyn, visit for the same reason – to enjoy this special, valued green space. 

Will we still be able to access all areas of the Comyn?

Other than for temporary reasons e.g. works to protect habitats, which can include reducing or removing informal paths, walkers will generally have access. Any dedicated formal footpaths will be kept open (WCC Definitive Footpath map). However, it is the expectation of the Council that normal courtesies apply to allow others around you to enjoy the space too - see Code of Conduct. 

Some of the trees and branches have been left in situ to create biodiversity enhancements as part a commitment to our emerging biodiversity action plan. This is standard practice throughout our woodlands. These actions will enrich the woodland environment as the decaying trees add numerous benefits  to the soil to promote healthy woodlands.

What happens if there's an issue or altercation between cyclists and walkers?

All users of Newbold Comyn are expected to be kind, courteous, considerate and share the space as it always has been used, adhering to the code of conduct which is applicable for all our parks and open spaces.

If any threats are being made to individuals, these should be reported to the Police. If there is an immediate threat to life then that should be reported to 999. Otherwise, 101 should be used.

What safety measures are in place for walkers?

The design of the trails has much incorporated within it to accommodate safety. It has taken into account existing use of the park. This means that where possible, routing has been aimed to avoid obvious tracks where walkers currently go.

The experienced constructors have designed in “pinch points” to ensure that cyclists are automatically slowed down at regular crossing points. 

Sight lines for pedestrians and cyclists have been accounted for by design of the planting around the trails and these are longer at crossing points. The planting scheme has been created with practical benefits in mind. 

Shrubs and lower-lying plants will be established as soon as possible to ensure riders do not injure themselves but will also provide a natural barrier between differing users’ activities. 

In this way, planting can help allow continued access for where cyclists and walkers will naturally go and separate the activities being enjoyed. 

Are you holding a formal opening for the trails? If so, who is invited?

There are no plans to hold an event for the soft opening of the trails. A formal opening event will be held later in 2024.  Appropriate stakeholders and representatives will be invited in due course once those plans are formalised.